David Harbour Will Scare You at Halloween Horror Nights

in Universal Studios, Universal Studios Hollywood

David Harbour smiling as Santa Claus and drinking a beer in Violent Night

Credit: Universal Pictures

In an unexpected move, actor David Harbour may pull double duty during Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. And at his second post, he’ll be bringing some Christmas cheer.

David Harbour as Hopper wearing a police uniform at the general store in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

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Although he started his career in 1994 and featured in films like Kinsey (2004), Revolutionary Road (2008), and the Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (2005), the public at large fell in love with Harbour for his performance as Sheriff Hopper in Stranger Things (2016-present).

Not only did this make him the most beloved adoptive father on television when he took in Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), but it opened the door for numerous other roles, including the titular Hellboy (2019), Red Guardian in Black Widow (2021) with Scarlett Johansson, and Gran Turismo (2023) alongside Orlando Bloom and Archie Madekwe.

David Harbour has been nominated for a Tony Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Razzie. And now, he will represent one of his most beloved characters at Halloween Horror Nights: Santa Claus.

There Are Stranger Things Than David Harbour as Santa Claus

David Harbour as Santa Claus on the poster for Violent Night
Credit: Universal Pictures

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In a Tweet from Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy, fans learned that another exclusive character interaction will be coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. And this terrifying figure has a nose like a cherry and a little round belly that shakes as he laughs like a bowl full of jelly.

That’s right, Santa Claus is coming to Universal Studios early. But this isn’t just any version of Saint Nick. No, this is the David Harbour interpretation of the fan-favorite Christmas action comedy Violent Night (2022). In the words of Murdy himself, “A little birdie (or maybe three really big crows) told me we installed the new photo-op at the end of Terror Tram this morning. Santa is coming earlier than ever this year!”

David Harbour as a bloddied Santa Claus standing next to his sleigh
Credit: Universal Pictures

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While fans were definitely excited to see this jolly old elf, there were some questions. First, it’s strange that Santa Claus is located at the end of the Terror Tram, called Exterminatorz, and themed around giant bugs. On top of that, why isn’t he near the haunted house based on the various holidays? John Murdy had a simple explanation, “That’s Satan Claus… He’s different.”

Either way, this is an exciting new addition to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Violent Night lives up to its name and is sure to become an underground Christmas classic. Just make sure to leave out a plate of cookies and a glass of beer, and don’t be a Scrooge. You saw how that turned out for John Leguizamo.

Do you think Silent Night Deadly Night should have a more significant presence at Halloween Horror Nights? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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